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Jan 10, 2013 11:23 AM

Banh Mi House in DTX

Finally got by this little stand in the Winter Street Arcade (where, incidentally, the original Falafel King is still operating, despite its fancy new storefront a few blocks away on Washington St). Seven banh mi options (nice), priced $3.99-$4.45, including what the owner told me is the most popular, crispy pork.

I don't think I've seen this particular protein before (it's basically a chicharron-like skin-fat-meat cut) in a banh mi, so tried that first. Very good: decent if not great roll, plenty of fresh cilantro, fresh sliced jalapenos (the other "spicy" option being sriracha), allegedly housemade mayo, daikon and carrot pickles, cucumber, sauteed scallions (didn't much notice this novel ingredient in there), and Maggi. Nice crispness to the pork rind.

They also do fresh rolls, seaweed salad, miso soup, bubble tea, and Vietnamese iced coffee, though the latter was gone by the time I visited late in the lunch cycle.

Chinatown is closer to work for me (based on a very recent visit, I can report that Mei Sum's pork charcuterie banh mi is as terrific as ever, the Globe's off-kilter roundup notwithstanding), so I can't imagine getting back here a lot, but it's a worthy addition to the growing banh mi selection around town. I think I'll try their meatball next time, which I assume will be in the "juicy" style (crushed into a Sloppy-Joe-like spread).

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  1. Have you ever tried that Japanese hot dog place in Chinatown? Looked tempting, but haven't had a chance to visit the area lately..

    7 Replies
    1. re: grant.cook

      I think you must mean Fei Fan Eatery, which is in the arcade next to Gourmet Dumpling House, along with Cafe de Lulu, Avana Sushi and the egg puff stand. Haven't been, but it's on my list.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        You should try out the dumpling joint in there as well, they sell a lunch special of 10 dumplings, soup and a soda for under $5, it's quite the deal, and very tasty. The lady working the counter (and sometimes a man) are both super friendly too.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I've been to Fei Fan a few times. Certainly not the best banh mi, a little light on the proteins, which aren't that great to begin with, but...... it's $2. A steal for that price, and their $2 hotdogs are pretty good too. They give you a half a hotdog cut lengthwise, with different topping combos.

          Also, I've had their okonomiyaki, which is not bad, but not great, and was like $6.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I agree that the dumpling people are very nice, and they make a nice scallion pancake too. But it's hard for me to justify paying for dumplings out of a bag that you can buy at any asian grocer....

            1. re: tysonmcneely

              Didn't show up as, but this was in responce to Tysonmcneely...

              oh, I hear that, but on my lunch break, I don't have a skillet and dipping sauce just available to utilize, so I can rationalize the purchase no problem. They also sell the frozen product too for dirt cheap, FYI

            2. re: MC Slim JB

              It's hard to resist those egg puffs.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I like the Fei Fan Eatery for interesting Japanese/Korean toppings on hotdogs. I believe that it's the only "Japadog" like place in Boston. It has very irregular hours, however.

            3. I tried the meatball the one time I went and yes, it was crushed into more of a spread than a ball. I enjoyed it, but I will note that it was the first time I had ever had a meatball banh mi. The roll and all the other ingredients were fresh, which works for me.

              1. I just got a sandwich from Banh Mi House and was really impressed. Though it is a little pricier, I liked it a little better than Mei Sum. (And it is FAR superior to Bon Me, for less.)

                I got the BBQ Pork, which was a special today. Very good flavor, with fresh fresh toppings and great bread as well. The bread was definitely at least on par with Mei Sum's bread--maybe they've got a new supplier since JB's review. The "housemade mayo" added nicely to the sandwich as well.

                Will definitely return, regularly.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Alcachofa

                  Don't know how I missed this initial post - damn, I have to get in there immediately!

                  1. re: nsenada

                    Just had the bbq pork special. Thx Alcachofa!

                    BTW, there is the bbq pork on the "special" board, which is what I had, a reg pork and a crispy pork.

                2. My favorite Bahn Mi is the 163 on Harrison Ave. I also like the dipping sauce for their pot stickers (fried dumplings) better than the Dumpling King on Beach St... I do however buy the frozen dumplings at the Dumpling King to make at home.

                  1. I just had the crispy pork as well, very tasty, MC's right that it's a bit pricey for bahn mi, but it's still a damn cheap sandwich at $5.50, and it was probably my favorite flavored bahn mi to date. My pork wasn't as crispy as I had hoped, but it was nice and meaty (I suspect pork belly, and I just got a meaty bit, as can happen), and the flavor (especially the maggi) was strong and good. I will be coming back for sure.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: devilham

                      Just had that same non-crispy crispy pork - really good stuff, definitely belly. They have upped the spiceness ante a little, as I ordered "hot" and got a whole jalapeno cut in quarters lengthwise, with seeds.